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McCaul Urges State Dept Accountability After Libya Terrorist Attack

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Chairman of Homeland Security Oversight & Investigations and member of the Foreign Affairs Middle East Subcommittee, called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to hold senior State Department officials accountable for failures to answer calls for help from U.S. personnel in Libya. This follows a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday which found serious deficiencies in the State Department's security of diplomatic officers and Embassy property in Libya months before the terrorist attack on the embassy compound in Benghazi on September 11th.

"The findings from today's hearing confirm the Administration abjectly failed to protect our diplomats and employees in Libya after repeated pleas for assistance," Rep. McCaul said. "Contrary to Ambassador Rice and others' initial assertions that this was a spontaneous uprising, these latest details prove this terrorist attack was successful because of the State Department's inadequate response to numerous security warnings. I respectfully ask Secretary Clinton to take immediate action to hold those senior members of her staff responsible for these poor security decisions."

Congressman McCaul also announced his request to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)--the investigative arm of Congress, to probe into the Department of Homeland Security's international counterterrorism activities including how U.S. embassies leverage DHS staff posted overseas and how the Department allocates resources to counterterrorism efforts abroad.

"The security of the American homeland is linked to international security as vulnerabilities in one part of the world can quickly become security threats in another," Chairman McCaul stated in his June letter to Comptroller General Dodaro. "The Subcommittee is concerned that DHS's international counterterrorism activities and expertise may not be properly accounted for, coordinated with other agencies, and targeted toward advancing U.S. counterterrorism interests abroad." GAO's investigation is underway at Chairman McCaul's request.

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